maven (also mavin) is a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. The word maven comes from Hebrew and means one who understands, based on an accumulation of knowledge.  Moxie is the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage.  Aggressive energy; initiative.  Skill; know-how.

Imagine being able to walk into a room full of influential people with the confidence of Michelle Obama.  You're wearing a perfectly tailored power outfit, you're having a great hair day, your mind is full of creative ideas, and you know that everything that comes out of your mouth will profoundly impact the lives of those you communicate with!  Michelle Obama --as well as other influential women-- is a Maven with Moxie. Unfortunately for those of us who are not Michelle Obama, the type of interaction described above may be few and far between.  More often than not, we enter a room and feel mousy, ordinary, and self conscious. Sometimes during a particularly stellar day we may share some helpful advice with a friend, crack a few well timed jokes, and feel like we had an impact on at least one person we communicated with.  Overall, "normal" people generally feel normal. So, how can we channel Michelle Obama and her Moxie?

The not so secret-secret.

Each and every one of us is remarkable!  Each one of us is completely unique, there is not another human being that is the same as you.  There is no other person on this planet that has the same particular combination of talents, life experiences, and perspective that you do.  We do not need to create false scarcity for who YOU are and what YOU can contribute.  There is only one you.  Own it!

There are several ways to morph into a Maven with Moxie and the We Move Forward International Women's Day celebration in Isla Mujeres, Mexico will help contribute to your transformation.  This year is the 2nd annual We Move Forward International Women's day celebration and registrants who attended in 2012 have referred to the conference as "Crazy amazing!"  Located on a small island right off the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula near Cancun Mexico, Isla Mujeres, directly translates to Island of Women.  The name alone suggests that it is the most perfect venue in the world for an International Women's Day celebration.  The small roughly 4 mile long island is quaint and retains it authentic Mexican fishing village charm.  The conference itself will focus on this year's theme: living with passion and purpose.  The 4 days has a compelling program filled inspirational presentations by accomplished women and female role models.  Participants will have opportunities to become clear on their passion and purpose through participatory workshops.  The robust program also offers movement sessions, networking happy hours, cultural activities and much more!  We Move Forward 2013 is the perfect place to network with and become a Maven with Moxie! 

 Jump in!  The water is fine!  Arriving to Isla Mujeres:

 1.  Drop off your "baggage".  Recognize that past experiences -- both good and bad -- forge your character and allow you to view the world in a very unique way.  Forgive others and forgive yourself for past mistakes.  Carrying hurt in your heart will only be detrimental to you.  So drop off your "baggage" at your hotel and join us during the pre-registration happy hour for a cool drink and a warm welcome! 

2.  Rock your shades.  Open your heart to new ideas but remember that no one else views the world through the "lenses" that you have.  Sometimes it is appropriate to adjust opinions in light of new information.  Sometimes it is more important to share your view with others so that they can benefit from your experiences.  During our community sessions you will have an opportunity to hear speakers share their stories.  In small groups you will also have an opportunity to share your story and everyone will be able to benefit from creative strategies that have been pivotal in other women's lives.  Remain confident in your experiences and your advice.  Remember that you just might have the answer that someone else is looking for!

3.  Dance.  Expressing joyful emotions can be therapeutic especially in a world were society is quick to judge anything out of the ordinary.  Why must we dance like no one is watching?  Why can't we just dance?  Join us during the 2nd evening of WMF for a Fiesta in the Square where a live band will be set up on stage and you will have an opportunity to experience some authentic Isla Mujeres nightlife.  

4.  Listen and soak up knowledge like the Caribbean sun.  A lot of listening goes into accumulation of knowledge.  If you want to be a trusted expert in a particular field you will have to listen and learn from a lot of teachers.  There will be many opportunities during session breaks and at the end of each day to relax in a lounge chair, soak up some sun, and reflect on the day's lessons.  

5.  Be still.  Experience the peace of intentional focus.  Have you ever noticed that when you are feeling rushed and anxious is when you make the most mistakes, say things you regret, and overwhelm yourself?  That is because we are not meant to be rushed, pushed, or pressured.  Recognize that there is a difference between being goal oriented and being pushed.  There is a difference between being an intentional leader and overly ambitious. Create healthy boundaries for yourself -- remain focused and on task.  If your mind feels busy or anxious -- you probably need to take a breath and re-evaluate what you are doing.  WMF will provide many opportunities for you to become clear on your life's passions and purposes.  Knowing what is most important to you will help you recognize if you are on task or if you are being pushed in the wrong direction.    

 At the end of the day, there are many different roads that lead to becoming a Maven with Moxie -- what unique tip or trick has been pivotal in your journey?